Arts & Entertainment

Northern Virginia Art Beat

 Soomin Ham’s ‘Lightscape series 1’ photo collage on rice paper. Part fo the Spring Solos 2007 at the Arlington Art Center through May 26.

New Dominion Chorale Presents Robert Schumann’s Rarely-Performed Choral Masterpiece, "Quest for Paradise" Sunday, April 22, at 4 p.m. in the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on the Alexandria campus of Northern Virginia Community College, 3001 N. Beauregard St, Alexandria, Va. Tickets are $25; $20 for seniors; $5 for students and children; and $20 for group sales. Free parking. Purchase tickets online at www.newdominion.org, or by phone, (703) 442-9404.

"The story of the Peri’s quest to enter into Paradise is based on Persian legend. The Peri were fairy-like beings born of the union of mortals with fallen angels who, though they were considered to be benevolent guides to those of pure mind on their way to Paradise, were themselves denied entrance to that holy realm. Moore’s tale is of one Peri’s successful quest to enter Paradise after several attempts to find a suitable gift to the Almighty." Take notes, there will be a test later. Hopefully much later.

"WPA/Corcoran Experimental Media Series: ColorField Remix" Night #1 (of a three part series) Wednesday April 25, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, in the Armand Hammer Auditorium (NY Ave side entrance), 500 17th Street NW, Washington, DC.
This is Night #1 in a three part series of multi-media ColorField Remix work to be shown at the Corcoran. Night #2 will be in May, and Night #3 in June. Shows all over town are challenging artists to reinterpret the Washington Color Field work of the past.

Ephram Russell's 'S.A.D.' sculpture at the Spring Solos 2007 at the Arlington Art Center through May 26. Curated by Richard Carter, a local graphic designer and sound artist, this event features 11 live and screened audio/visual performances by 16 artists. The WPA/Corcoran puts up first rate shows, and from the press release image, I’d say this is going to be yet another one. All included in your evening of entertainment for the low, low price of free.

 "Spring Solos 2007"

Through May 26 at Arlington Arts Center, 3550 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, Virginia. Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call (703) 248-6800, or see www.arlingtonartscenter.org.

Solos presents the work of eight artists, and three more in Disintegration: Sculpture on the Grounds. This Solos grouping has no over riding theme, in fact it’s about as diverse a showing as you’ll find.

Soomin Ham presents seven photo collage works that have the look and feel of highly manipulated abstract charcoal drawings. As photo works go, you’d be hard pressed to find a more envelope pushing use of the silver gelatin process. Ham has sliced and diced photo prints into inscrutable tiny shards, and then glued them in place to craft the images shown. Her process also involves crumpling the rice paper base and forming a three dimensional bulge in the paper. The images present some version of the genesis process. Be it on a cellular, or cosmic ‘Big Bang’ level we can’t tell. Could even be on the psychological level. Whatever level you read it as, the images are literally pregnant with the birthing process. Although done in black and white, it’s a good spring time theme to hit on. Nice work.

 John Adams presents the latest crop of his horizontal line paintings. The images he was showing at Fisher Gallery in Georgetown a couple of years ago featured tiny lines that would disappear as you walked away from the piece. It was work that engaged the viewer in a teasingly playful way, while maintaining a very serious facade. The work here continues the theme of horizontal lines, but the playfulness is gone. Here we find glistening black oil paintings on board, with scar like horizontal gashes that seems to ooze a milky white fluid. More than anything they seem to be abstract images of infected wounds from whippings on slave backs. Keeping in mind that Adams is Caucasian, I’m guessing that’s not the spin he’s after. Whatever the intention, these images repel the viewer in almost the same way that his earlier works drew the viewer in. It’ll be interesting to see where his next step in the ever evolving process takes him.

Ephram Russell has a collection of industrial design based sculptures and supporting 2-D images. The flat work is mostly limited to crazy nonsensical exploded view drawings done with something akin to a CAD/CAM plot printer. Actually pretty much all of his work seems to be about industrial objects that don’t really do much of anything, or much of discernable value anyway. On the conceptual level, most of the objects seem to lack a bit of incisive focus. We get lost in the form and function and find none. Tis not universally the case however.

My favorite piece in the whole solos show would be Russell’s “S.A.D. Sculpture (Seasonally Affective Disorder).” Here we have a slick industrial design light box finely crafted, complete with color coordinated power chord, that brightly illuminates the floor at very close range. So close that one would be hard pressed to get a view of the floor it purportedly illuminates for our inspection. Nor would it do much for a S.A.D. suffer lumped on the floor like this. It’s an ingenious device showing man’s unending ability to get in his own way. To pervert the process and ends he seeks. To forget the purpose and end result goals in the process of finishing the task at hand. The very antithesis of the modernist mantra "Form Follows Function." It’s a completely whacked piece of sculpture, and all the better for it. Bravo.

 Margaret Boozer is seen outside, with another one of her dirt drawings. This one seems to lack the focus of her recent work at McLean Project for the Arts. It seems another step in the experimental process of discovering how her native clays act in different circumstances.

In fact, the piece strikes me as a sort of University of Tennessee “Body Farm” for clay. There is definitely a return from whence you came, "dust to dust" vibe to it. Boozer’s best work is ahead of her. She’s on the right track with it all, I just want to see what she does with it all once she’s got total command of the materials. She has some home runs lurking inside her, definitely a local artist to watch.

Artist Opportunities—

"3rd Annual Falls Church City Art Show and Sale"

Work will be accepted from Monday April 23 up to 10 a.m. Friday April 27. The show opening will be that Friday night, April 27 from 5 to 7 p.m. Art will also be on display Saturday from Noon to 4 p.m., at which time you will need to pick up your work.
Show is open to all Falls Church City residents, and employees of all ages. There is no size limit on work as long as you can get it in the door, but is limited to 2-D work, no sculpture. On the back of art work include name, phone number, and selling price if the piece is for sale. K through 12 students are also requested to include age and grade level. Up to two pieces per artist may be submitted.
Falls Church Community Center, 223 Little Falls St, Falls Church. For further information call (703) 248-5077, or see www.fallschurchva.gov/community/calendar/2007ArtShowSale.html.